SMU Fresh Grads Make $4k to $10k


Ok, not all of them.

The “Class of 2007” of Singapore Management University (SMU) are getting higher starting salaries than their seniors.

According to the SMU employment survey, their salaries are 6.7% higher than the previous cohort.

Of the 618 survey respondents, 69 got high-paying jobs that pay between $4,000 to $10,000 a month.

And those who got distinctions in their degrees – namely summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude – receive an average starting pay of $3,500.

Congratulations to the SMU Class of 2007.

But the sceptics among us know that results of such employment surveys are always to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Reference: Channelnewsasia article. See also my last year’s post on the previous SMU cohort.


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  1. HCA wat are u talking about?

    SG not risk averse = risk loving or neutral. So wats this about not enough entrepreneurs?

    There are lotsa creative people in Singapore making their earnings not being an employee or salary receiver. Thats being creative too. Artists, painters, song writers, musicians, engineers, architects, designers and all are creative.

    So if your creative equals making big bucks, Singapore has to be very creative too. We got lotsa Millionaires!

    And if you compare SG to Korea or any other bigger countries it is not that fair. U need a critical mass to be “creative”, going by your definition of Acer,LG,etc. Without the mass supporting these MNCs, without the proletarians you think the capitalism gonna work?

    Studying and education is definitely one of the ways to get out of poverty and attaining higher living standards. Without those basic needs, creativity aint getting you anywhere. Of course, a drug peddler, vandal, crook or criminal can be creative too..

  2. I agree there are a lot of creative people, but that’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about entrepreneurs.

    There aren’t as many entrepreneurals vs other countries. Singapore workforce – a highly educated one and because of this, people are less inclined to go out and strike their on their own!

  3. correct me if you liked, i know a lot of people who strike it on their own. it is just that they have not been successful.
    so if you are talking about the success rate of being an entrepreneur here in singapore and benchmarks being wealth n global branding, you are right Singapore is lacking.
    however, i do not think its solely based on our culture and society, the critical mass and outreach is just not there.

  4. We are getting there. It’s a evolving economy and changing in mindset. Gov’t is encouraging people to be entrepreneurial. You can see this from diff govt agency providing some form of support to SMEs and entrepneural projects. Critical mass is one thing, but i do think culture and society plays a big part. Just look at HK. People there are more entreprenuerial. Not right or wrong, just a fact.
    At the end of the day, Singaporeans are known for being kiasu, this is a fact.

  5. HCA,

    HKs are more determined and goal driven than SGs.

    If you like, how many HK companies are global?

    Anyway, nothing further to discuss. Its good to let off your air here. we all need an outlet these days to let off steam..its not healthy to bottle them..

  6. I can name a few! Li & Fung, Hutchinson Whampoa (which own Watson, 3, mega ports, utility / infrstructure group, and if i am not mistaken, at one stage owned big chunk of Vodaphone!); Cheung Kong Holding, Swire Pacific; Cathy Pacific; Shangri-la, Mandarin Oriental and some mega developers – ALL privately owned!.

    Are HKers more determined and goal driven than SGs? or are they more entrepreneurial? or both? upto your interpretation.

  7. we have GIC n Temasek employin some of the best brains in singapore. SIA, Singtel, PSA, etc…

    well not exactly private owned. if thats your point… 🙂

  8. I totally agree with you that that we have some of the best brains in Singapore in the Govt Linked Companies such as SIA, Singtel, PSA…etc. I can’t imgaine what will their achievement be if they strike out on their own. They could well be some of the best entrepreneurs in Asia. However, unlikely they will do that, becuase of their highly paid job!! THat’s my point!

  9. So what are the Job and the course of study allow them to achieve highly-paid job such as 10k/mth ?

  10. excluding specialist roles in medical and law industries..

    high paying graduate entry level jobs include private equity, investment bankers, banking sales or wealth management, management consultants etc..

    90% of these jobs, in respectable companies, command more than 5,000 a month for entry level graduates.. up to more than 10,000 especially for PE and IB guys..

  11. If you are referring to graduate pay with 10k/mth, i do not know of any (or rather many) graduates with 10k/mth upon graduation. And in today’s climate, i am not sure if the PE and IB roles still exist, esp for Graduates!!!

    Like i said earlier. Do something you like, stay focused, and you will be rewarded. This is true for ALL professions.

  12. adiemuso, you talk about the importance of critical mass to fostering creativity, and HCA has already brought up Hong Kong as a counter example.

    Allow me to also bring up Isreal, according to, they too, only have a population of 7.2 million.

    Being small did not stop them from digging into themselves to innovate and become one of the most advanced economies in Southwest Asia. A lot of successful techological companies have also sprung out of Isreal. They also have the 2nd highest school life expectency in Asia (after Korea).

    Now you know where all the LG, Samsung came from, considering that Korea doesn’t have that big a population as well.

    If critical mass is that important, then China must necessarily top the list of producing creative entrepreneurs.

  13. Remember that some SMU students have rich fathers. And once they grad, they join father’s business as a manager or a director.

    So SGD10k is possible.

    Why then is the average low?
    Some who chose to be private tutors can dont declare salary. And those who went to further studies are not earning anything.

    Forget the extremes.
    Life is like bowling, just play your best and you can score. Doesn’t mean he get SGD10k you cannot.

    Be motivated, take it as, if he can earn SGD10k, I can too. Go get it!

  14. DT, great sayings..

    I am really wondering which company is doing their sums so wrongly that they pay out 10k to a fresh grad.?

    Well, it could happen if that these fresh grads are actually experience managers whom had worked many years in their field and now going into SMU for upgrading degree courses and of course, when they graduated with their new degree course, they are considered fresh grads and at the same time, getting a pay rise above their present wage. That is one possible permutations and not to mention further permutations.